India has more fake news than any other country in the world: Survey

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  • Nearly 60% of Indians had seen fake news against the global average of 57%, said a recent survey.
  • Overall, India ranked seventh in Microsoft’s ‘Digital Civility’ Index.
  • It found that the spread of online risks by family and friends in India have been increasing sharply by nine percentage points to 29%.
Fake news continues to be a growing menace in India, which has seen the most number of fake news incidents compared to anywhere else in the world, a recent survey by Microsoft has warned.

Over 60% of Indians said they had seen fake news online against the global average of 57%, according to findings of a survey by Microsoft.

More than half of the surveyed respondents also said they had faced Internet hoaxes, a figure that was significantly higher than the global average of 50%. While another 42% said they had witnessed phishing or spoofing, according to the survey.

Microsoft released its 3rd ‘Digital Civility Index,’ which measures patterns in online civility and behavioral risk in 22 countries including India. As per the survey, India ranked 7th in Digital Civility Index globally.

The survey studied a number of online risks such as attempts at gathering personal information, online bullying, unwelcome messages seeking sexual favours, and misinformation and fake news.

It found that the spread of online risks by family and friends in India has been increasing sharply, going up by nine percentage points to 29% as of May 2018 compared to previous year.

Broadly, the survey has predicted an increase in online risks including fake news in India.

The Microsoft survey is the latest to highlight the problem of misinformation and fake news in India. Late last year, an investigation by BBC Research found nationalism was the main driving force behind widespread of fake news in India.

That report noted that fake news incidents were a result of efforts made to boost India’s national identity.

The Indian government, for its part, has taken steps to battle fake news problem for quite some time. Popular messaging platform, Whatsapp, has been on the government’s radar and has been directed to undertake steps to control fake news on its platform. Whatsapp has also been under pressure of Indian government and last year appointed Abhijit Bose as the country head in part to monitor the circulation of fake news and misinformation on the app.

See also:

Hyper-nationalism behind India’s fake news menace: Report
Here's what WhatsApp India head will take on as it sets out to establish its first full country team
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